HQ snaps up Elle deputy editor's take on 'womanhood and blackness'

HQ snaps up Elle deputy editor's take on 'womanhood and blackness'

HarperCollins will publish the debut of Elle UK deputy editor Kenya Hunt entitled GIRL, billed as a “celebration of womanhood, blackness and the possibilities that both contain”.

The world rights to the non-fiction title were sold by Kate Evans at PFD to HQ commissioning editor and newly named Bookseller Rising Star Charlotte Mursell.  It will be published in hardback, e-book and audio in autumn 2020. GIRL will published at the same time in the US by Tara Parsons at HarperCollins imprint Amistad.

“GIRL is a celebration of womanhood, blackness and the possibilities that both contain,” HQ said. “Blending the popular and the personal, the humorous and the grave, Hunt weaves together a collection of writing that examines what it is to be a living as a black woman in our time.”

Hunt is an award-winning writer and editor based in London. In November 2017, she became the deputy editor of Elle UK and frequently appears on BBC Woman’s Hour. As the founder of R.O.O.M. Mentoring, she advocates for greater diversity within the fashion industry by providing a supportive network for some of the best and brightest aspiring designers, journalists and image makers of colour London has to offer.

She revealed her inspiration for the book following a move to London from America. “Moving abroad at the dawn of the Obama administration and pinnacling of social media was a very eye-opening experience for me in terms of my understanding of womanhood, black womanhood, and belonging,” she said. “So often, conversations around the intersection of these things tend to revolve around American culture. I’m grateful to HarperCollins for the opportunity to write this book, which will look at black womanhood in a more global space. In so doing, I hope to inspire all women to take control of our stories in the age of identity politics, as I use big cultural touchpoints and intimate personal experiences to tackle the hashtags, internet moments and sweeping movements that have attempted to celebrate and define us.’

Mursell said: “Sharp, searing, honest and brilliant, through the lens of black womanhood Kenya’s compulsive writing cuts to the heart of what intersectionality looks like. GIRL is everything I’ve been looking for at HQ and I’m so very thrilled to be welcoming Kenya to the list.”

Parsons added: “Kenya Hunt delivers a groundbreaking book about what it means to be black, a woman, a mother and a global citizen in today’s zeitgeist. GIRL signals the arrival of a powerful new voice in narrative non-fiction − one that is smart, funny, and long overdue.”